Salmonflies and Golden Stones are Hatching

It’s that special time of year when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are hatching on major rivers close to me.

These are the bugs many fly fishers wait for with high expectations. Some fly fishers start shaking as they approach the river knowing the bugs are out and the fish are looking up, ready to explode on their fly!

Today’s post provides a few pictures of the real bug and offers some of the favorite stonefly patterns I carry in my fly box.

The following picture includes Salmonflies and a Golden Stone apparently trying to mate.

Golden and stonefly Continue reading

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Buszek’s Kings River Caddis

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Buszek’s Kings River Caddis.

King River Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

I recently finished up a fly order for a customer that included a few of Buszek’s Kings River Caddis. After filling his order and tying a few for myself, I decided this fly would be a good candidate for this week’s TBT post.

Buszek’s Kings River Caddis was created by Wayne “Buz” Buszek (1912 – 1965) in the 1950’s for the Kings River, CA. The fly uses undersized hackle to sit lower in the water and imitates the Hydropsyche or spotted sedge found in his local fishing water. Changing color and size will allow you to imitate many other caddisflies as well.

Other Buszek originals include the Old Gray Mare, Flot-n-Fools, Buz’s Shad Fly and probably the most popular, the Western Coachman

In 1947, Buszek opened Buz’s Fly and Tackle Shop at his home in Visalia, CA, close to the Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas.

I never met Buz, but I wish I had. He must have been a great tyer. In 1970, the International Federation of Fly Fishers named it’s annual fly tyer award in his name. It’s a coveted award and there have been some great fly tyers who were fortunate enough to win it. I’m blessed to know some of them personally – Al Beatty, Wayne Luallen, Steven Fernandez, and Jim Ferguson. 

Enjoy…go fish!

(If you’d like to see more Throw Back Thursday Flies, just click on the name Throw Back Thursday Flies CATEGORY in the sidebar to the right.)

 

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Granam or Green-Tail

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Granam or Green-Tail fly.

Granam or Green-Tail | www.johnkreft.com

I thought this was a good fly to go along with the Mother’s Day Caddis post about the American Grannom.

I’ve told you before that my Throw Back Thursday Fly segment celebrates older flies and that “old” is in the eye of the beholder. Well, the Granam or Green-Tail is over 250 years old! Continue reading

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Mother’s Day Caddis

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is well-known and can be amazing to see. And it’s right around the corner.

Massive Caddis Hatch | www.johnkreft.com

Yes, all those dots in the picture are caddis flying over the water!

Thousands and thousands of American Grannom (Brachycentrus occidentalis) hatch at this time of year. These caddis are the ones building square-shaped cases you see on rocks in riffly water or in runs of moderate to fast flows. Continue reading

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Spring Fly Fishing

I can’t lie. I’ve been a little frustrated lately with spring fly fishing. It always happens this time of year for me. Winter is over and I have expectations of going to the river and see a few mayflies hatching.

I love mayflies.

There is something elegant about that bug.

Cinygmula Mayfly | www.johnkreft.com

I enjoy watching them float down the river and seeing a nose break the surface and eat the bug. Continue reading

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McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the McKenzie Caddis dry fly.

McKenzie Caddis Dry Fly | www.johnkreft.com

This odd looking body color matches the real insect found on the McKenzie River in Oregon. I found this fly pattern in the 1980’s when I tied a few of these flies for the first time.

These caddis flies begin hatching in mid-May and is a major hatch anticipated by many fly fishers. And they are big! Females can be in the #8 – 10 range, while males will be a little smaller in size 10 – 12. 

So if you live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you better have a few of these bugs in your fly box.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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Griffith’s Gnat Emerger Fly

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger fly.

Griffith's Gnat Emerger Peacock Version | www.johnkreft.com

This is another great fly pattern from Craig Mathews at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. He created a variant of the Griffith’s Gnat with his Zelon Midge and the result was the Griffith’s Gnat Emerger fly.

If you are a frequent RiverKeeper Flies reader, you surely recognize Craig’s name along with Blue Ribbon Flies. I have many of their fly patterns on the website. In addition, I wrote a couple of blogs – Craig Mathews and Blue Ribbon Flies and Craig Mathews Winter Seminar which includes pictures of flies he tied. Both of these posts are popular here at RiverKeeper Flies. Continue reading

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Confusing Mayfly Names

Do you know the names of all the bugs you see on the river or lake? Do you need to know these names to catch fish? Not at all. Fly fishers have developed their own common names over the years for many bugs in order to share information about recent fishing trips. I have to say that I can identify a lot of bugs, but there are some confusing mayfly names that even I have difficulty with.

March Brown Adult | www.johnkreft.com

When I explain bugs to beginning fly fishers, I start with basic information about the three major bugs important to their fishing success. Stoneflies have wings flat along the top of their body. Caddisflies have a tent-shaped wing. Lastly, mayflies have upright wings which look like sailboats floating in the water. Knowing this basic information is a start for sharing with other fly fishers. Continue reading

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Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger.

Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger | www.johnkreft.com

This fly was the creation of Shane Stalcup, a talented and innovative fly tyer. The fly pattern sheet can be found HERE.

I first learned of Stalcup’s flies in his book Mayflies “Top to Bottom” (2002). I thought it was interesting looking at the materials he used to create close imitations to the real insects. It was the first time I had heard of Medallion sheeting. It wasn’t long before I had that material in several colors. Many of the flies in his book used biots for bodies. This fly is no exception.

Stalcup created some wonderful fly tying videos and those videos can now be seen on my friend John Sherry’s Youtube NetKnots Fly Tying channel. I encourage you to take a look. Be sure to check out his video of the Stalcup CDC Loop Wing Emerger.

Unfortunately, Shane passed away prematurely in 2011 at the age of 48.

Many of his flies can still be purchased in your local fly shop. You might give them a try. Watch a video or two of Shane tying his flies. You’ll see how “fishy” they really are.

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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